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Compass - Southern Tier Brewing Company


Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

360 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 360
Reviews: 93
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 11.63%

Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Knapp85 on 05-27-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 360 | Reviews: 93 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of jwk0408

New York

1.9/5  rDev -50.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I love southern tier. I've loved every beer I've tried, until this one. It had a dish soap taste to me. I couldn't even finish it. Although I tried,I just couldn't get past that. I think I even cried when I poured it out. It was the third beer I have poured out. I just couldn't do it. To me, it doesn't reflect on southern tier. I still believe they are one of the best around. I will continue to buy anything they release. I hope to get to the brewery soon. For now, I have a pumpking on ice! Got to go.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2013 00:27:24 | More by jwk0408
Photo of redbeerdviking


2.64/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

This beer did not represent what I have come to expect from Southern Tier.

Appearance - Very light yellow in color, dare I say it, like a Budweiser, medium head, little to no lacing.

Smell - Fruity, especially citrus, with flowery undertones.

Taste - Started of strong and pleasing, like an APA should be, but moved to an overpowering citrus flavor, which tasted unnatural. The finish and aftertaste was that of roses or a similar flower.

Mouth- It's hard to get a grasp here, because it was just tapped at a newer restaurant, and it felt over carbonated. I wouldn't lay the blame on Southern Tier until I at least try it out of a bottle.

Overall, I can't give this an okay rating, because I really wouldn't want to drink it again. It had more of a pilsner or kolsch feel and taste to me, which aren't my favorite styles.

Serving type: on-tap

07-12-2013 05:24:13 | More by redbeerdviking
Photo of ThisWangsChung


3/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle into a tulip. From yesterday's notes.

A: Pours a hazy golden color with tons of sediment. The one finger white shaded head retains very nicely and leaves behind some lacing on the glass. The hazy look isn't the most aesthetically impressive, but usually yields an enjoyable brew elsewhere.

S: Aromatically, it's mostly citrusy hops combined with an herbal component. Yeast seems to come through with a phenolic note, unfortunately. Otherwise, the nose is decent enough.

T: First thing that hits the tongue is some citrusy hops. This builds up to a yeasty, bready finish with an herbal aftertaste. Some aspects work, some aspects don't.

M: The body has a light feel (not to be confused with an insubstantial one), but isn't quite as crisp as some other unfiltered ales. Astringency is fairly heavy and distracting - probably my least favorite feature. Still, for a 9% pale, it's both drinkable and devoid of booziness.

O: A textbook average brew that's only a couple of tweaks away from being really good. I enjoyed it for what it was, but wouldn't buy it again.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2013 16:16:44 | More by ThisWangsChung
Photo of corby112


3.1/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly hazy, dark banana yellow color with a one finger, frothy white head that slowly settles into a lasting ring.  Pretty good retention with streaks of lace left behind.

Earthy, slightly floral aroma with grassy and piney hops, pale malt, flower petal and bready yeast.  Some wheat beer character with bread, banana and citrus peel.  Subtle potpourri presence blended into a hoppy wheat beer-like aroma.

Medium body with tight carbonation and crisp hop bitterness along with rose water and a pale malt backbone.  Hints of biscuit and cracker along with malted wheat, banana bread and subtle peppery spice.  Basically a decently hopped light wheat beer with strong flower petal bitterness.  Easy to drink with a well masked ABV but not terribly interesting.   The flower presnce is too strong for my liking, overpowering the hops and wheat beer elements.  Also the malt profile could have been a bit more prominent.  

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2013 02:11:33 | More by corby112
Photo of jjanega08


3.36/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

No freshness dating.

A= Pours a nice hazy yellow color with a thin finger of head on top of it that is a nice white color and some spotty lacing on the side of the glass.

S= The smell is filled with dirty hop aromas. Grassy and a little floral.

T= The taste is much more crisp and clean than the nose lead me on to. Lots of bright citrus notes and a little poopy wheat flavor. Bright tasting beer.

M= Super carbonated and sparkly.

O= This isn't a bad beer by any means. It's not outstanding either. Worth checking out but mostly just a hoppy APA with high carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2013 01:21:46 | More by jjanega08
Photo of Portertime


3.4/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It pours a rich gold color with a bright white, foamy head. The label describes it as a sparkling ale but I do not see any additional carbonation or Champagne like qualities.

Smell: bright grapefruit hop notes, some pine, floral, and earthy.

Taste: I am able to distinguish the hop-like bitterness of the rose hips, which complements the grapefruit in the hops. The malt balances out nicely.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2013 00:55:23 | More by Portertime
Photo of Knapp85


3.43/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a small growler, the color was a pale yellow with a thin white head on top. The retention was minimal and the lacing was very light as well. Some nice clarity on this beer along with some carbonation bubbles rising to the top. The smell of the beer is pretty standard, the rose hips don't really shine too bright in my opinion. There is some earthy malt on the nose and not a whole lot of hops really. The taste of the beer reminded me a lot of a pilsner, it was light and fairly refreshing. Mostly malt was all I was really getting from this brew. The mouthfeel was light bodied, gently carbonated and very easy to drink. Overall I was hoping for something a little more... not sure if what way but I hoped for something a little more impressive here.

Serving type: growler

05-27-2013 04:04:48 | More by Knapp85
Photo of farrago

New Jersey

3.46/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a couple fingers of bleached white foam, very whipped up and airy, no density at all albeit retention level is good, even dissolve. Any lacing slides off the glass as if greased. The liquid is the color of goldenrod, while faint and transparent it has a certain luminescence to it too, there’s a faintly visible particulate floating about, the bubbles are active but widely dispersed, no beads. Salt, grains and grasses frame the core of lemon to lesser white grapefruit citrus in the nose, built for focused penetration, a slice more than a punch, its herbaceousness makes it a bit tough to get at the apricot, apple fruit scents and naked dough notes. It’s close to full-bodied, the carbonation somehow manages to be thick and clingy, helps it press into all your mouth pores. Lots of lemon and then some orange and lime mixed in, all of it sour and bracing. The greenness and pepper and salt stuff too keeps you puckering. More like pretzel dough or rye here than sweeter breads. Something like the bowl of seeds and spices by the door of an Indian restaurant, the kind you are supposed to slowly chew on. Lots of dry extract as it finishes. Peach, apricot, green apple, pear, all with more crackle and snap than juicy wetness. Not the easiest to drink.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2013 03:58:52 | More by farrago
Photo of Cresant


3.51/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured this 22 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams glass. No date. The body was a pale golden color with a bright white head. There was floating yeast in the drink.

The smell was flowery, freshly herbal. Lightly lemony.

The taste was herbal, an organic leafiness that I love. A gentle crackery maltiness was followed by a nice, long grassy and semi-dry finish.

The mouthfeel had a mildly pepper, prickly carbonation yet it was smooth going down. I enjooyed this one more that I expected.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2014 12:42:43 | More by Cresant
Photo of StonedTrippin


3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

an imperial pale ale of sorts, in tap at the screamin eagle in inlet, ny. the pour is bright yellow and just about perfectly clear, with a huge white foam head that only relaxes a little. the appearance is great. the nose is too, well hoppy with a mix of bitterness and citrus, not super bright, but not an oily bitter bomb either. very light malt base in smell and taste allows the big hops to come through. this isn't as interesting hop wise as unearthly or even the regular ipa, but it is quite refreshing for its size. lots of alcohol comes through the mouthfeel, hot on the way down, and its exacerbated by vibrant carbonation and not much malt body or sweetness to mellow things out. not a beer I need more than a pint of, but it gives me a nice buzz and is a good addition to the southern tier lineup overall, just a bit understated compared to some of their rock stars.

Serving type: on-tap

08-24-2013 14:28:12 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of adamette


3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Live review. Poured from the 22 oz. bomber that my brother Pete brought directly back from the brewery earlier this week. Thanks Pete! "DOB 05/06/13" stamped near the base of the bottle. Poured into a clean, clear pint glass.

A Generous but brief meringue like head that lasted about 30 seconds over a Budweiser looking pale yellow translucent body with lots of carbonation rising up from the depths. The look, while true to the style, is pretty basic. 3.0

S Nice citrus hops smell that you certainly do not get from the aforementioned Budweiser. Repeated sniffs reveal a rather distant sweetness about it too. The hops are in front for sure. 3.5

T Citrus hops follow right from the smell into the taste and more prevalent in the taste is that nice sweetness that I picked up in the smell. NIce, tasty Pale Ale with a "hop forward" disposition. 3.5

M Appropriately on the thin side but those hops and nice sweetness turn up the mouthfeel dial above your average APA, say a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. I rather like the feel of this APA. 4.0

D/O Drinkability suffers since it is 9.0% (!) ABV. Overall this is a good...nah...very good APA but probably not my favorite.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2013 03:18:43 | More by adamette
Photo of hustlesworth


3.59/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A- huge expansive white head on this one with bubbles of varying size. It's loud and active and recedes at a moderate pace overtop a handsome looking hazed over lemon yellow colored brew as some thick clumps of lace adhere to the glass.

S- bright zesty hop aroma with a distinct floral character, a combination of both the hops and the rose hips. On the hop side, there's grapefruit, lemon and a hint of fuel or solvent and pitch (not in an offensive way). Flowery sweet rose water and chlorophyl. Delicate pilsner malts lend crackery base notes along with white bread.

T- I can't really tell the difference between the hop bitterness and the Ross hip bitterness as stated on the label. I suppose the rose hips would taste a bit greener, but the lemony grapefruity floral nature of all this dry hopped goodness makes it hard to discern. Wheat and pale malts contain a certain sweetness that, paired with the bitterness, nicely disguises the 9%abv. The finish is a combination of dried leaves and peppery spice with lingering pink flower petals and bitter citrus.

MF- the term "sparkling" nails it. Highly effervescent and briskly dry with a puckering bitterness that lingers in the throat.

D- this one seems like a weird hybrid of styles. I guess APA fits. Hell, even IPA would fit. It's could be an American Saison with low yeast character. The wheat confuses me. The high abv has me thinkin weird shit. It's good in small doses, and I keep picturing it in a champagne flute with some cheese. The combination of ibu's, alcohol, and strangely light yet proteined body with high effervescence confuses the senses. My compass is going haywire and I can't find Polaris. I don't know how to define this beer to myself let alone to others. It's good and quality made, but I don't think I'll be going back for another bottle.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2013 03:38:00 | More by hustlesworth
Photo of ChimRichels


3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Very light, very hazy. Color is a light golden/yellow. Head is nice and airy, leaves good lacing and retains well.

S - Hops are forward, smells quite sweet and fruity. A touch of citrus - more orange than grapefruit.

T - This is only the second beer I've had that is brewed with rose hips, and there is a very distinct sweetness that I can tell is characteristic of rose hips. Other than that, hops are abound, a lot of orange and orange pith coming through. I can notice the 9% ABV on the finish

M - Pretty viscous for looking like so innocent. But as I learned from my first wife, looks often deceive us.

O - Not crazy about this one, although I would like to see more brewers experimenting with rose hips in the future, I think they add a very unique aspect to the flavor/mouthfeel profile.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2014 02:51:39 | More by ChimRichels
Photo of Darkmagus82


3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – Pours a heavily hazed golden orange color. Upon pouring there was a thick two finger white head. Even thought the brew was hazy one could still see tons of little carbonation bubbles streaming up through the brew. The big head faded slowly over time leaving very little lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell- The aroma is big of a citrus hop (lemon and grapefruit) smell mixed with aromas of a floral hop as well. Along with these hoppy smells are other aromas of maltiness and rose water mixed with a little bit of grass.

Taste – The taste starts out with a malty and bready taste with a strong showing of lemon mixed within. Flavors of yeast and a floral taste soon come to the tongue with a lighter hop of grapefruit joining in. At first the grapefruit is lighter, but it grows stronger as the taste advances while all the while the malty flavors begin to loss strength. In the end a light pine and grassy hop flavor join the now rather strong grapefruit hop to in the end create a malty and lightly hopped flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is thicker side with a carbonation that is rather low for a champagne yeast beer. The tiny carbonation bubbles that are there are nice, but there are just too few with a body that is too thick for the style.

Overall – An alright brew, but nothing too extraordinary. The taste was rather nice, although eh body was a bit off for me.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2013 23:49:48 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of thecheapies


3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Lightly hazed golden beer. Humble sudsy top. Fizzed down to a fluffy ring.

Tangy citrus hop notes with grapefruit, kumquat, and tangerine. Rosehips add a big floral bouquet that is hard to distinguish from natural hopping. A little too resinous for how sweet it is. Sweet booze and sweet pale malts. A whole lotta aroma.

Better that it's drier, but the rosehips are super-pushy and clash with sweet citrusy hop notes. More citrus fruits; tangerine and grapefruit, most prominently. Malts are what are drier, although the finish is hardly that dry. Alcohol is very big. Too much so. Fluffy carbonation does represent this properly as a Sparkling Ale. Body is bigger, too. Definitely an imperial ale.

We'll see if this one sticks around long. Not bad, but hard to imagine seeking it out for any reason. Doesn't leave that kind of impression.

Serving type: on-tap

06-21-2013 02:43:06 | More by thecheapies
Photo of BeerLover99


3.69/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: cloudy (few bubbles) golden straw,
finger pillow head,

S: floral nose, lemon peel/grass, mild earthy malt

T: lemon peel, floral/herbal malt, semi-dry crisp
light bitter grassy hop finish

M: med/light, bubbly dry, hint of crisp mouth

O: Fascinating brew, well done ST. Always enjoy
breweries pushing my palate in new directions.
Wish I shared it with others. ABV is well hidden.


Serving type: bottle

05-28-2013 20:51:00 | More by BeerLover99
Photo of jzeilinger


3.69/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a bright, clear, gold color with a one fingered dense, soapy looking head.

S - Nose is delicate and light with citrus, rose, lemon earthiness, and grass.

T - Rose hips are evident from start to end with a delicate earthy, citrus finish.

M - Light medium body with little to no carbonation.

O - I LOVE Southern Tier but this one didn't do it for me. For a "sparkling ale", the sparkly was totally non-existent and a big "meh". HOWEVER, for a 9% beer the ABV is COMPLETELY hidden which makes this beer dangerously drinkable. Beware.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2013 03:33:37 | More by jzeilinger
Photo of JRed

New Jersey

3.69/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Wonderfully bright in body with thin white head. Aroma of lemons, pears, some booze, and plastic. Tastes of lemons, pears, kiwi, floral notes, grass, bitterness comes thru with some boozy aftertaste. Medium body with medium carbonation. Spritzy and tasty. This would be a great beer if lower in alcohol but otherwise a nice treat.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2013 19:05:09 | More by JRed
Photo of chefhatt


3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bottle,
I poured this beer into a glass, it has a light orange color body with a foamy head. The smelll has a citrus hop aroma to it. The taste is up front citrus hops. Its like a troical whirwind of flavors. The mouthfeel is very good not dry but very smooth. Overall a damm good beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2013 03:18:28 | More by chefhatt
Photo of vfgccp

New York

3.74/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Light wheat-gold body. White sediment, even on a careful pour. White, loose foam head has ok retention and low lace.

S - Sweet nose. Orange, honeysuckle, rose, honey, touch of booze, white grape, lychee.

T - Soft and relatively brisk on the palate. Honey, wheat, orange zest, floral potpourri, dry pear.

M - Light frame with a soft, creamy smoothness. Low carbonation.

O - Dangerously outstanding drinkability at 9%. Nice flavor profile.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2013 23:44:23 | More by vfgccp
Photo of cindyjeffsmith


3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: clear straw yellow. Fat, creamy white head.
Smell: grapefruit and malt with a strong floral character (guess that's the rose hips).
Taste: less malt than in the nose. Clean, hoppy, mostly dry. Finish is slightly bitter with strong floral characteristic (again guess that's the rose hips).
Mouthfeel: sparkling as advertised. Lots of carbonation.
Overall: nice brew. Glad I tried.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2013 23:20:28 | More by cindyjeffsmith
Photo of lordofthewiens


3.76/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pretty beer. In a pint glass it was light yellow in color with a medium-sized white head. There was a bit of lace.

Mostly a floral and grassy aroma. Some fruit.

Mostly a floral taste. Some berries. Hops late.

A crisp, refreshing beer. Something good to drink on a warm summer day.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2013 22:08:18 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of MadScientist

New York

3.76/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: A golden with decent clarity, although the bottle was shaken a bit just before opening stirring up a few floaters of yeast sediment.

S: A unusual herbal and citrusy nose with some pils malt aroma and a low phenol. There is a light dill aroma.

T: The flavor is dominated by lemon-citrus hops, an herbal character, some dill and rose hip tartness. There is a medium hops bitterness adding to the rose hips making for a beer that is moderately bitter. There is a medium-low wheat and clean malt sweetness. The finish is off dry and the aftertaste is of a lingering hop and herbal bitterness. There is some fruit esters and a light spice to the fermentation character as well.

M: A medium bodied beer with a strong level of carbonation. A light, tannic prickle from the use of spices.

O: A bitter and herbal beer that's a blend of the American Pale style with a Gruit. A nice beer for hops and bitter beer fans and well worth the reasonable price.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2013 01:14:41 | More by MadScientist
Photo of JayQue


3.76/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Very enjoyable. The rose hips are a nice touch. Pours a hazy gold color into a pint glass. Good size while head with good retention. Minimum lacing. Plenty of yeast floaties in the beer.

Aroma is fairly mild some floral aspect from the rose hips and some citrus.

Flavor is somewhat sweet but has some fairly mild citrus with bitterness and floral aroma from the rose hips. Very pleasant. Nice blend between sweet and bitter.

Mouthfeel is somewhat light and very smooth and slightly sweet. Goes down easily. The alcohol is not apparent along.

Overall a very pleasant and enjoyable beer. A bit too high abv for having a lot of this beer, but one bomber is just about right!!

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2014 01:40:40 | More by JayQue
Photo of Slatetank


3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

bomber shared with tenderbranson69, enjoyed chilled from a goblet.

The color is very hazy golden with some floaties from bottle conditioning, thick white frothy cream rests with thick webbing of lace. The smell is very citrus-y grapefruit and mandarin orange with a light yeast scent with some tropical fruit odors and mild floral aroma with a mild green tea element. The feel is yeasty iwth a slightly dry and yet spritzy carbonated and mildly astringent essence. There is mild bitterness and gentle alcohol with a light nutty malt texture in the finish.

The taste has a pretty fresh floral earthiness and dry nutty yeasty flavor but the citrus element from the hops is complimentary with mellow earthy tea-like flavor. The taste is a lot more yeast than hops which is not necessarily a bad thing, but there is a slight warming of alcohol which doesn't really improve the overall drinkability. I think this is a good beer but the rose hips combined with the bottle conditioning yeast makes a dry astringent taste linger and hampers the probability of repeated samples.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2013 01:35:33 | More by Slatetank
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Compass from Southern Tier Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 360 ratings.